Family caregivers are unsung heroes in health care, providing medical and emotional support for loved ones, often at the expense of their own wellbeing.
"We have this unpaid and unknown workforce of family caregivers who provide most of the care, with support from professionals and paraprofessionals," said Diana Morris, executive director of the University Center on Aging and Health and associate professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. "If we don't keep caregivers healthy, then not only does the person needing care suffer, we also have someone else in bad health."
Knowing where to start when it comes to taking charge of their health can be difficult for caregivers managing a multiple responsibilities from full-time jobs to childcare to running a household.
On Thursday, April 23, the 18th Annual Florence Cellar Conference, sponsored by the University Center on Aging and Health, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center at Case Western Reserve, will offer strategies and advice for professionals and caregivers facing these challenges. "Intergenerational Family Caregiving: Self-Management in Caring for Each Other" takes place from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 611 Landerhaven Dr., in Mayfield Heights.
About 1.14 million people in Ohio identify themselves as caregivers, and in a recent survey, the state ranked fifth in caregiver population. Morris says most caregivers are women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who continue to work fulltime while putting in an average of care 41 hours a week. The annual market value of this unrecorded work adds up to about $12.1 million.
"That does not include those who care for family members but do not identify themselves as caregivers," Morris said, adding that about 91 percent of caregivers have some symptoms of depression. Morris says the conference will explore how caregiving affects people in a range of real-life situations, such as caring for a sick or disabled child or children of deployed military personnel, spouse or elderly parent. Presenters will share strategies that can help caregivers meet their own emotional, spiritual and physical needs, as well as manage their financial and legal concerns.
The keynote addresses will be "What Do We Know about Self-Management" by Margaret Grey, dean and professor from the Yale University School of Nursing, and "The Science behind Caregiver Support: Evidence-based Models and Promising Practices from the NYU Psychosocial Research and Support Program" by Mary Mittleman, research professor in New York University School of Medicine's department of psychiatry. The luncheon address will be "Advocacy for Family Care: A National Perspective" by Lynn Feinberg, deputy director of the National Center on Caregiving.
Other topics will include navigating the health-care system; ways to cope with stress and advocating for a loved one.
The conference will be held at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 611 Landerhaven Drive in Mayfield Heights. Registration is required. Visit http://fpb.case.edu/Centers/UCAH/conference.shtm for conference and registration information.
Posted by: Kimyette Finley, April 20, 2009 02:02 PM | News Topics: Collaborations/Partnerships, Community Outreach, Conferences/Symposia, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Lectures/Speakers, news
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